Tools I Fricken' Love: The Laser Cutter


#1

This article brilliantly summarizes why I fell in love with laser cutters.


#2

Yes! Thanks for posting that. I always felt like I was supposed to be excited about 3D printers, they never held the same draw for me as a laser cutter (for all the reasons already listed in the article).


#3

I do love laser cutters, but 3D Printers are pretty amazing too. I think they both just have completely different applications. Like comparing a hammer and a screwdriver lol Im honestly not sure which I would rather have if I could only choose to own One for the rest of my life.


#4

Yes! We use 3D printers all the time at Glowforge; we have a Form 1 and a Makerbot in house, and regularly contract out with firms to print larger items for us. They’re invaluable for prototyping, particularly parts that will be injection molded.

@MaiveShadowsong, what have you used lasers for in the past?


#5

My Glowforge Pro will be added to my CNC, 3D printer, and pretty well complete woodworking shop as one more tool to satisfy my ongoing demand for more ways to express my creativity. I teach furniture design and have my students make 1/4"=1" accurate scale models of their designs for evaluation before committing to their final full scale prototypes. Many 1/4 scale parts could be cut more efficiently using a laser cutter than a CNC. We’ve started to use 3D printed parts for bits and pieces of full scale furniture prototypes. The CNCs are now being used to some degree on nearly every project. I have no experience with laser cutters but if there is an application for one in furniture design I’ll find it.

4D


#6

Oh, there’s furniture uses all right.


#7

The charred edge and thickness limitations are two reasons that desk would have been CNC router cut in our shop. I have no doubt the GlowForge Pro will cut profiles in 1/2" plywood. I’ll get mine to make chamfered or round-over edges and tapered through-mortises, :wink:

4D.


#8

Great article, but all this does is make me more anxious to get my new “frickin’ laser”. I was showing this to my father-in-law over the weekend (having just printed him some replacement parts for his carpet cleaner), and he was fascinated by the Glowforge. He enjoys wood working and plans to come up with some new designs to be engraved on his wood working pieces. Thanks for just making me just more and more anxious to get this device :smiley:


#9

Ha! FYI the edges were black but not charred - the surface finish depends on the wood you use.


#10

I’m really looking forward to getting the Glowforge! It sounds like I may even get it sooner than “The Creation Station Open Source CNC Router” that I purchased from a Kickstarter campaign more than a year ago, and still waiting. I have a shop full of conventional woodworking tools and am greatly excited at the new design possibilities that will be opened up by the “frickin’ laser”. I have a Bukito 3d printer also, a great little machine, but 3d printing is kind of meh.